History of Our Parish
Seton Parish had its origin in the mid-60's when the Diocese purchased the 18 acre tract of land on which the church, Parish Activity Center, and rectory now stand. Father Edward Fairchild was assigned to organize the parish, which started on July 1, 1978. The first Masses and Religious Education Classes were held in the Pickerington Middle School from then until February 1981, when the new church was dedicated by Bishop Edward Herrmann. Father Stephen Hawkins became Pastor in July 1988, and by 1990, with a growth to over 1000 families, a need to add to our facility size became evident.
Several hundred parishioners met under the guidance of Bill Brown and Associates on a "Journey to Decision". A parish consensus was reached to construct a new larger worship space and add additional classroom facilities.
Under the guidance of a central Steering Committee, and over 30 task force groups meeting frequently, all parishioners had an opportunity to contribute input to the endeavor. The focus of the design was the evolution of the parish character. After worshipping for years in a multipurpose space, the community was starved for a permanent, sacred space. Older members identified with a more traditional and respectful setting for the Mass. Younger members wanted their children to grow up with a sense of the same respect and faith.
These desires, coupled with a growing closer to the guidelines for Vatican II, developed the church form sacred and separate from the other parish functions. The Nave is perceived as the central focus coming in either direction on State Route 256. The stone appearance adds permanence, while the stucco and roof forms tie the complex together with the rectory to complete the composition. The major interior design concept is the fellowship of believers gathering around the altar in a hospitable atmosphere. The sanctuary is connected to the other functions of the parish by a narthex space that promotes fellowship both before and after Mass. The dedication of the church of Seton Parish on September 13, 1992, by Bishop James Griffin was a celebration of the continuation of God's growth among us.
In July of 2000, Fr. Martin Weithman succeeded Fr. Steve Hawkins as the third pastor of Seton Parish. In Fr. Weithman's brief pastorate, he oversaw the completion of the Parish Activity Center. During his tenure, he visited many of the parish neighborhoods to get a better grasp of the needs of the parish, and he took a keen interest in many aspects of adult faith formation.
In April of 2002, Msgr. William Maroon came out of retirement to become the administrator of Seton Parish until July of 2003. He won the hearts of the Seton parishioners with his warm manner and his many gifts as a storyteller. This big parish wore him out in a short time, and he was more than ready to hand the reigns over in July of 2003 and go back to his garden in New Straitsville in Perry County. In July of 2003, Fr. James Klima became the fourth pastor of Seton Parish. The challenges now were not so much in finding ways to continue physical expansion, but rather, the leadership of the parish had changed often in a few short years, and so there was the need for stability that only time could bring about.
Now the important question needed to be asked -- where are we going for the future? A "Vision Committee" was drawn from listening to a cross section of the whole parish and seven focus areas were set forth for the future of Seton Parish: Hospitality, Communication, Spiritual Growth, Parish Outreach, Parish Community, Parish Facilities, and Stewardship. This Vision now enunciates the direction of Seton Parish for the future. The work of the parish is never complete. It is here as a tool ushering God's kingdom. As we each take our part, we continue to write the history of Seton Parish.